Meet US

  • Rev. Jonathan Pryer •

    Pastor Jonathan Pryer graduated from Sayville High School in 1990. He attended Lafayette College in Easton, PA where he majored in Russian and Spanish Languages. While at Lafayette, Pastor Pryer became involved with a campus Christian Fellowship. From his sophomore year through his senior year, he led a campus Bible study, in addition to organizing daily campus prayer meetings Monday through Saturday. While enjoying his language studies, Pastor began to experience an inward call to ministry and a desire to deepen his theological studies. In 1993, he participated in a missions trip with Youth For Christ to Merida Mexico, building sidewalks and functioning as a Spanish interpreter for the group. Pastor Pryer graduated from Lafayette in 1994 with a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and Spanish. In 1996, he entered Long Island University and graduated in 1997 with a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and joined the staff at Sayville Library as a Reference Librarian in 1996. 

    In 1999, Pastor Pryer enrolled in seminary and while working full- time at the library, attended theology classes part-time. While in seminary, he became more involved in the ministry of St. John’s Lutheran Church, Sayville, NY. While there, he became the Church’s Deacon and through opportunities available, he preached regularly, became the Church’s Cantor and was invited by parishioners to do weddings and funerals. Ten years later Jonathan completed seminary and in 2009, graduated with his Master of Divinity. In 2010, he began transitioning from the LCMS into the ELCA and subsequently joined the ELCA Candidacy Program in 2012. He continued the ELCA Candidacy Process, while assisting St. Paul’s in the Divine Service and teaching the 6th grade confirmation class. On January 17, 2016, Pastor Pryer was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry and installed as the part-time Associate Pastor here at St Paul’s. Pastor Pryer is fluent in Russian and Spanish and has a conversant knowledge of French and Italian. He enjoys singing, finding particular comfort in cantoring the Psalms. He is also a private pilot and enjoys flying throughout the northeast.

  • REV. bob cederstrom •

    Pastor Bob has been serving as an Associate Pastor at St. Paul's since 2007. He attended the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia and holds a Master of Divinity degree from New York Theological Seminary in NYC, a bachelor’s of science in kinesiology and adaptive physical education from Brooklyn College. Pastor Bob also serves as Pastor at Christ Lutheran Church in New Hyde Park and is the Dean of the MNYS Western Nassau Conference. Before answering God's call to ministry of Word and Sacrament, Pastor Bob taught Middle School in Brooklyn and was an adjunct professor at Kingsborough College in Brooklyn for 25 years. Pastor Bob served in the United States Navy and is a decorated Vietnam Veteran.

  • Deacon Debbie Peltz

    Debbie Peltz was Set Apart as a Synodical Deacon on April 14, 2018 and established and leads our Stephen Ministry at St. Paul’s.

    In addition, Debbie is active with our Fully Rely on God (FROG) ministry which serves our widows. Each month Debbie provides them with spiritual ministry that includes hymn discovery, bible history, meditation, and even games! Debbie is also a service assistant, prepares and distributes our quarterly service/reader schedule, sings in the choir, rings in the Bell Choir and assists on the music and worship committee. Once a week, she volunteers in the church office to help out where ever needed. 

    Debbie and her husband Randy have two children, Zachary and Rebecca. When she’s not at St. Paul’s, she’s busy with her family, teaching woodwinds, playing clarinet and singing around Long Island. 

    Debbie says serving St. Paul’s gives her great pleasure and she’s honored to serve where ever the Holy Spirit leads.

  • Deacon JoAnne Rasmussen

    JoAnne Rasmussen has been a member of St. Paul’s since 1965 when her father was transferred to New York and their family moved from Brookfield, Wisconsin. JoAnne and her husband, Larry were married at St. Paul’s in 1971 and their two children attended Sunday School and confirmation programs here. 

    St. Paul’s has been a blessing to JoAnne’s whole family where weddings and three grandchildren’s baptisms were held.  

    After graduating Diakonia in 1985, JoAnne served for a dozen years in various functions including Stewardship, Social Ministry, Youth Ministry and leadership roles on Church Council. JoAnne was Set Apart as a Synodical Deacon on January 20, 2007 and her installation service was held at St. Paul’s on January 28, 2007. Her service and dedication focused on our youth. She led our teens on several week-long Group Work Camp trips. There, they repaired homes and provided maintenance for needy families in many locations. In the past, JoAnne also assisted with confirmation classes and children’s programs.  

    Today, JoAnne continues to assist our Pastors during weekly worship services.

  • DEACON Ed Basche, Retired

    Ed Basche has been a member of St. Paul’s since 1974. Ed served on the Church Council for many years, and taught Confirmation for 17 years.

    He was consecrated as a Deacon in the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches (AELC) by Bishop Rudolph P.F. Ressmeyer and Ed was called to St. Paul’s on November 29, 1987. In 1988, the AELC and the Lutheran Church in

    America merged to form the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

    Ed’s ministry was focused on working with the Catholic church in Wyandanch in their outreach center serving the poor. In February 1997, Ed was Set Apart as a Synodical Deacon in the ELCA by Bishop Stephen P. Bouman. Ed served as a Deacon of Word and Service, preaching on many occasions when our Pastor was absent. Ed formed a Senior Group 2002 and a men’s breakfast group in 2019, both groups are still active today.

    He married his first wife in 1963, and she passed away in June 1991 of cancer. He remarried in August 1992 to Carolyn Hyatt. They have five children, and ten grand children between them. Ed retired from being an active Deacon in January 2022 after 34 years. Ed loved serving the congregation of St. Paul’s and the loving people he had the pleasure of knowing.

  • Our newest deacons

    The Setting-Apart of the Metropolitan New York 2023 diaconal candidates occurred on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at the Marriott Melville Long Island at the conclusion of the annual Synod Assembly. Pictured here with Bishop Egensteiner, we welcomed Doreen Flanagan, Donna Galluccio and Wendy Bean Tannenbaum as they were set apart to the office of Synodical Deacons.  

The Wider Church

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in East Northport, New York is a congregation

of the Metropolitan New York Synod of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

This is Christ's Church. There is a Place for You HereWe are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God's grace. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person--questions, complexities and all. Join us as we do God's work in Christ's name for the life of the world.

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America--The ELCA Who We Are Together in Jesus Christ we are freed by grace to live faithfully, witness boldly and serve joyfully. Read more about our mission & vision here.

We are a Church that Believes God is Calling Us to the World--Together.

The ELCA’s 65 synods vary greatly in size, geography, membership, staffing and programs. Synods unite the work of congregations within their areas, serve as regional support, and guide pastoral and other staff candidates. 

St. Paul’s is Part of the Metropolitan New York Synod MNYS covers nearly 200 congregations located in all five boroughs of New York City, all of Long Island and seven upstate counties including  Dutchess, Orange, Putnam, Rockland, Sullivan, Ulster and Westchester. Members of out synod worship God, help friends and neighbors, celebrate diversity, feed the hungry work for justice and advocate for peace. In all we do, we strive to reflect boundless love for all people.

You can learn more about our synod here.

what is a


At the turn of the second millennium, historians voted Martin Luther to be one of the most influential people of the past 1000 years. His posting of the 95 Theses on October 31, 1517 on the Cathedral door in Wittenburg, Germany became a turning point in history. As the Renaissance with its scientific and global discoveries emerged, this monk’s challenge to the Roman Catholic Church fit right in. The world was changing and the human mind was exploding with a need to be free to explore one’s relationship with God on an individual basis.

Martin Luther and his fellow reformers did not want to form a new church, but reform the Roman Catholic Church from where they came. Unfortunately, due to the powers and influences of the time, there was no easy path to agreement and reconciliation. Therefore, the Lutheran Church came into existence. The Lutheran Church retained its Catholic history and heritage, but also re-introduced the world to the grace and love of the Triune God.

The cry of the Reformation was “Grace Alone. Faith Alone. Scripture Alone.” Luther translated the Bible from Latin to German so people could read God’s word on their own. He wrote an instruction book so that parents could teach their children the faith. Luther firmly believed in the “priesthood of all believers” which means that all are called through baptism to a personal relationship with Christ that results in faithful living in their daily lives. It was no longer guilt and fear that governed a person’s life but the joy of knowing Christ who unconditionally loves and forgives us.

Today the Lutheran Church is known as the “Singing Church” since it was Luther who wrote many of our great hymns. We worship in many different ways because the good news of Jesus Christ must be proclaimed boldly in the context of the people gathered. Yet it is still God’s Grace, God’s Word and God’s Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion that remain our core. St. Paul’s is a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. We invite you to join us as we celebrate the joy of being saved by Jesus Christ.

Mission of the E.L.C.A.

Marked with the cross of Christ forever, we are claimed, gathered and sent for the sake of the world. This is the mission statement of the ELCA. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus’ name throughout the world. 

Members of the ELCA are called and privileged to participate in God's work in the world. God calls and empowers us for mission through baptism. As a community of believers justified by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8), we do not describe mission in terms of our own work but with reference to the healing, salvation and restoration that God accomplishes through Christ. We seek the guidance of the Spirit in our planning, while expecting surprising developments and unanticipated opportunities. Grounded in God’s love and forgiveness, we are equipped to live and serve here and now, in the world, with all its complexities, tensions and ambiguities. We have the courage to explore the world as saints and sinners who are certain of God's promises and of the confident hope that all God's loving purposes will be fulfilled when our risen Lord Jesus Christ returns (1 John 3:2).

The ELCA churchwide organization, working collaboratively with congregations, synods, agencies and institutions and other partners will give priority to: accompanying congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission; and building capacity for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace.

To this end, the churchwide organization continues to play a significant and pivotal role in the life of this church by working with its local and global mission partners to build, support and extend the mission of this church.

History of the E.L.C.A.

A merger of three Lutheran churches formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in 1988. They were The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America.

Now 25 years later, the ELCA is a church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. With our hands, we do God’s work of restoring and reconciling communities in Jesus Christ’s name throughout the world.

We trace our roots back rough the mid-17th century, when early Lutherans came to America from Europe, settling in the Virgin Islands and the area that is now known as New York. Even before that, Martin Luther sought reform for the church in the 16th century, laying the framework for our beliefs.

Our Partners in Ministry

Click any of the boxes below to visit our partners' websites

  • Lutheran Colleges

  • Lutheran Counseling Center

  • Lutheran Schools Associations

  • LUHI

  • Metro New York Synod

  • ELCA

  • Thrivent Financial

  • Lutheran Social Services: New York